Spring into Change: Books to Inspire

In honor of M.G.’s big transformation, we are looking at books where the character has a physical change that influences the story. Here are a few favorites. Can you think of any more?

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
When orphaned Mary Lennox, lonely and sad, comes to live at her uncle’s great house on the Yorkshire moors, she finds it full of secrets. At night, she hears the sound of crying down one of the long corridors. Outside, she meets Dickon, a magical boy who can charm and talk to animals. Then, one day, with the help of a friendly robin, Mary discovers the most mysterious wonder of all–a secret garden, walled and locked, which has been completely forgotten for years and years. Is everything in the garden dead, or can Mary bring it back to life? (description from indiebound.org)

Holes by Louis Sachar

Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnats. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the warden makes the boys “build character” by spending all day, every day, digging holes: five feet wide and five feet deep. It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption. (description from indiebound.org)

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is on his way to visit his father when the single-engine plane in which he is flying crashes. Suddenly, Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but a tattered Windbreaker and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present — and the dreadful secret that has been tearing him apart since his parent’s divorce. But now Brian has no time for anger, self pity, or despair — it will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage than he knew he possessed, to survive.  (description from indiebound.org)

Read Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings by Helene Boudreau

“Freak of nature takes on a whole new meaning…”

If she hadn’t been so clueless, she might have seen it coming. But really, who expects to get into a relaxing bathtub after a stressful day of shopping for tankinis and come out with scales and a tail?

Most. Embarrassing. Moment. Ever.

Jade soon discovers she inherited her mermaid tendencies from her mom. But if Mom was a mermaid, how did she drown?

Jade is determined to find out. So how does a plus-size, aqua-phobic mer-girl go about doing that exactly? And how will Jade ever be able to explain her secret to her best friend, Cori, and to her crush, Luke?

This summer is about to get a lot more interesting…  (description from indiebound.org)

Savvy by Ingrid Law

Thirteen is when a Beaumont’s savvy hits–and with one brother who causes hurricanes and another who creates electricity, Mibs Beaumont is eager to see what she gets. But just before the big day, Poppa is in a terrible accident. And now all Mibs wants is a savvy that will save him. In fact, Mibs is so sure she’ll get a powerful savvy that she sneaks a ride to the hospital on a rickety bus with her sibling and the preacher’s kids in tow. After this extraordinary adventure–full of talking tattoos and a kidnapping–not a soul on board will ever be the same. (description from indiebound.org)


Savvy by Ingrid Law

Nine years after Mib’s Savvy journey, her cousin Ledge has just turned thirteen . . .

But Ledger Kale’s savvy is a total dud–all he does is make little things fall apart. So his parents decide it’s safe to head to Wyoming, where it’s soon revealed that Ledge’s savvy is much more powerful than anyone thought. Worse, his savvy disaster has an outside witness: Sarah Jane Cabot, reporter wannabe and daughter of the local banker. Just like that, Ledge’s beloved normal life is over. Now he has to keep Sarah from turning family secrets into headlines, stop her father from foreclosing on Uncle Autry’s ranch, and scumble his savvy into control so that, someday, he can go home.

Starring a cast both fresh and familiar, Scumble brilliantly melds Ingrid Law’s signature heart and humor with the legendary Wild West. (descipriton from indiebound.org)

The Monster’s Ring by Bruce Coville

It all starts when Russell Crannaker buys a “monster’s ring” from weird old Mr. Elives. Russell is sure the ring is just a silly magic trick — but he follows the instructions anyway, and slips it on his finger. Then he whispers the magic chant, twists the ring once, and suddenly he’s sprouting horns! Hair covers his face and hands. Russell has become…a monster!

Russell quickly learns how to change back and forth from human to monster. But he hasn’t paid enough attention to the directions, and when he puts on the ring on the night of a full moon, and twists it three times, Russell realizes he’s gone too far…. (description from indiebound.org)

The Reinvention of Moxie Roosevelt by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel

Moxie Roosevelt Kipper has endured thirteen years of being an ordinary girl with an unordinary name. Now that she’s entered boarding school, the time is ripe to reinvent herself. She’ll become unusual, outlandish, unexpected, sassy–someone worthy of a name like “Moxie.” But who exactly? From Mysterious Earth Goddess to Hale and Hearty Sports Enthusiast; from Detached, Unique, Coolly Knowing Individual to Assertive Revolutionary Activist, Moxie tries them all, while keeping her true talent for piano-playing a secret. But at boarding school, Moxie isn’t the only one who isn’t what she claims to be. (description from indiebound.org)

Deenie by Judy Blume

When Deenie finds out that she has scoliosis, she’s scared. When she sees the brace for the first time, she wants to scream.

But the words won’t come out. And Deenie, beautiful Deenie, who everyone says should be a model, is stuck wearing a brace from her neck to her hips. For four years—or longer. She never worried about how she looked before—how will she ever face the hard times ahead? (description from indiebound.org)

Jennifer Murdley’s Toad by Bruce Coville
Jennifer Murdley had no idea what she was getting into the day she bought the big toad from the strange man who ran Elives’ Magic Shop. The thing didn’t even start talking to her until she had it out of the shop.And once the toad did start to talk, it still kept a lot of secrets. So Jennifer didn’t find out about his strange birth…or the treasure hidden in his forehead…or the witch who was out to get him…until she and her friends were in more trouble than they had ever dreamed of. (description from indiebound.org)

 

Freaky Friday by Mary Rogers

Like Mother, Like Daughter…

Annabel Andrews is tired of her mother telling her on what to do. She’s tired of being told to do her homework, clean up her room, and be nice to her little brother, Ape Face. If she were an adult, she could do anything she wanted, like watch TV all day and eat marshmallows for breakfast.

One Friday morning, Annabel’s wish comes true when she wakes up and realizes she’s turned into her mother! But after a major washing machine mishap, losing Ape Face, and a terrible teacher conference, Annabel starts to suspect that being an adult is not as much fun as it seems. 

One thing’s for certain — this is one freaky Friday she’ll never forget! (description from indiebound.org)

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